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Archive for the ‘Magically Mundane Mondays’ Category

Although I’m not finished with my Magic 1 essays, I have started to read books on ogham for Divination 1.  I’m not merely looking at the course as a way to learn about divination.  I see learning ogham as a next step in my magical practices.  Not only can it be used as a way to commune with the spirits, but the symbols can be used in magical acts.  I also want to take this opportunity to grow closer to the trees.

I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday about crystals.  She was telling me about her sister and how she has a spiritual connection to amethyst.  I shared a story about friends of mine who are equally enamored with the crystal.  During this exchange, I admitted that I’ve never been very drawn to crystals in a spiritual way.  I find some stones more interesting than others, and I enjoy learning the correspondences and symbolism, but I’ve never felt a pull to learn crystal healing or such.  I thought about it later and realized that what I am drawn to are trees and other plants.  I am interested in their properties, healing potential, symbolism, and history.  I don’t discount the divine significance of crystals, but my talents do not reside within that realm.

After work, before delving into anything else, I put my green galoshes on, trudged through the muddy hedges, and went into the forest.  It was cold.  The deciduous trees were practically bare.  The setting sun sent an orange, misty light through the woods.  There weren’t any mosquitos or flies.  There was a stillness broken only by a crow flying north and my own footsteps and whispers to the kindreds.  I found myself near a birch tree and I spoke to it, touched, it, hugged it and just sat for a time.  I felt the stillness and firmness of the tree.  I felt the sleep of winter.  I heard the rustle of wind through pine needles.  I saw the still waters of the marshland slowly reclaiming territory amidst the other birch and younger trees.

I encourage you to go out and hug a tree, as silly as that sounds.  Literally hug it and be silent.  Close your eyes for a little, then open them.  Watch.  If a tree is not for you, find a rock, a flower, a moss-covered hill.  Git outside and be still.  Open yourself to the aged wisdom and chaos around you.  If anything, you will feel more relaxed for it.

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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As I recently posted, my stomping grounds are becoming increasingly winter-like.  There is the promise of a short Indian Summer this week.  I encourage you to make the most of it and enjoy the last bit of Autumn magic!

  • Admire the leaves.  Observe the changes and marvel at the magnificence of nature.  
  • Play in the laves!  Rake them into piles and jump into them.  Enjoy their earthy scent.  Collect a few to press or rub with crayons.  Try to identify them and add these to your nature journal.
  • If you don’t have a nature journal – MAKE ONE!  It’s a wonderful way to observe the magic that is all around you every day!
  • Keep track of the wildlife around you.  What birds are still around?  Have the robins left yet?  Have you seen any Canada geese flying south?
  • Pick or buy some locally grown apples and bake them.  Inhale their perfume as they cook…  Drink their juice and spice it up!  Warm cider will fill you with autumn’s spirit for sure!
  • Visit the farmers’ market before it ends for the season.  Observe what produce is available.  Try and make more meals with the food that’s in season and really connect with the agricultural cycle.  Thank the Earth Mother for her bounty.  Thank the Nature Spirits before they nurture you.  Envision the alchemy that occurs in your kitchen with each meal.  
  • Build an ancestral altar.  Pray to your ancestors and meditate on death and transformation.
  • Start to dream of the activities you can do during the dark half of the year.  Create a mental list of crafts to create, recipes to cook, card or board games to play, and books to read.
  • Preserve some food.  This is something I want to try more of in the future.

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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My husband and I had the day off so we decided to drive into the city and visit the grave of my great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother.  She was the last Irish immigrant on my father’s side, so I was pretty amazed to find out that she spent her final days in the North Country.  My grandfather, who practices genealogy, really wanted me to visit her grave (not that he had to convince me – I was excited to visit and pay my respects).  When he first found it ages ago, he put up a stink because it was in a neglected, old cemetery that had become overgrown.  The way he spoke, I excepted that Weretoad and I would have some weeding to do.  When we arrived we were delighted to see that the city has been taking care of the site.  It’s been mowed and fenced off.  My ancestor’s resting place is shaded by a large tree with dark berries.  I’ve been trying to identify it from photos but I think I’ll have to visit again to confirm…

I got the feeling that my ancestor was definitely at peace.  There was no negativity about the area at all.  Several animals (mostly chipmunks) had happily claimed the land as their own.  One even had a den under another grave stone.  Touching my ancestor’s name and gravestone was interesting for me.  My blood came from this woman and she ties me to Ireland.  I thanked her for inviting me to visit and invited her to visit me in dreams or visions should she ever want to talk.  I left her a small pumpkin gourd as a gift.  I promised to return.  The area is so easy to reach – I hope to bring the rest of the family there someday soon.

Do you have a day off?  Take a moment to visit your ancestors.  Bring them a gift.  Talk to them.  You don’t have to perform an intricate ritual to connect with the spirits of the past.  Some might call my adventure positively mundane.  Me?  I thought it was magical.  🙂

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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Sorry for the lack of “Magically Mundane Monday” yesterday!  I have ideas for more posts in that series but life has been busy these past few days.  This week will also be very busy due to the Equinox and, well, work.

Expect a post about the Autumn Equinox later this week.  🙂

( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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This is the first of a series of what I hope to be weekly posts about a subject I’ve become passionate about – filling my life with magic.   To the uninitiated*, living a “magical life” must sound fruity and idealistic at best, and delusional at worst.  To many Pagans, magic is very real.  What people outside of the proverbial magic circle struggle to understand most is that a lot of magic is just a different way of seeing and interacting with the world.  Magic means intentionally focusing on the intent of an action.  Magic is very much living a purposeful life.  Although some of what I talk about may seem to some as an impractical waste of time, to me my little rituals and magical acts are how I maintain a spiritual connection to the world outside of ritual and meditation.  Some of what I write about will be influenced by Druidism, folk-magic, and kitchen/green witchcraft.  A few will incorporate other cultural/religious practices.

I’m going to begin by talking about the object pictured at right**.  It’s called a neti pot and I’ve been using one for the past two months.  My father gave it to me after I told him I was suffering from possible allergies and wanted to obtain one.  It has been one of the best and most practical gifts ever.  This may sound gross to those of you who have never tried a neti pot before, but you combine water and salt to make a solution.  You then pour the liquid through one nostril at a time while you lean over a sink and breath through your mouth.  The solution flushes the irritants from your nasal passage and is very effective at reducing the symptoms of allergies and colds.  From what I understand, it is a Yogic practice but many Muslims also us a form of nasal irrigation.

“Ok Grey,” you say.  “Yoga aside, what does flushing snot out of your nose have to do with magic?”

Everything!  First of all, healing is one of the most basic ways of practicing magic.  By taking your health into your own hands and using a natural method to fight allergies instead of using expensive drugs, you are moving into what I would argue is a closer relationship to the Earth Mother.  That’s pretty Druidic!***

How else is using a neti pot magical?  When I prepare my solution, I go about it in a semi-meditative/ritualistic way.  I fill the pot with warm water and think on the fact that this is the combination of fire and water.  I add the salt which represents the earth – land.  Fire/sun/sky, well/sea, and sacred tree/Earth are present in this simple healing ritual.  They mix in the neti pot (cauldron of transformation).  As I stir the ingredients together, I perform the Two Powers meditation and direct the energies of above and below into the “potion.”  I say, “By fire, well, and sacred tree / let this salt water heal me!” before using the neti pot.  Trust me, approaching any form of traditional healing according to your spiritual practice is really empowering****.

Finally, using a neti pot is a great way to prepare yourself for another ritual or magical act.  Many cultures or people talk of purifying baths to prepare for ritual.  If you are the sort who likes to mentally and/or physically prepare yourself for a rite, but you either can’t or don’t want to bathe, a neti pot is a great practice before ritual that can be combined with washing your hands and brushing your teeth.  Even if you believe that our bodies don’t need any such preparation to enter sacred space, using a neti pot has a great practical use before ritual – it helps to alleviate sinus discomfort so long as you are gentle and make sure to blow your nose after using it.  As someone who often sniffles, this is a great practice for helping to remove a distraction to myself or others during magical workings.

*And by that I mean the non-Pagan people in the world…
**I wish I took that photo!  I found it on this blog.  
*** For all the whiners and nitpickers out there, I am not against modern medicine.  If someone has a real debilitating issue going on, by all means take what the doctor prescribes you!  I just think our society is a little too pill-popping-happy.  There are more natural ways to fight common allergies.  Even my doctors agreed with me about that.  
****Yes I realize this is a type of cultural appropriation.  I’m giving credit where credit is due and learning more about it all the time – so there.


( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )

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